My lab combines cell biological, immunological, and informatics approaches to investigate the following:
- Elucidate rapid-response circuits required for phagocytes to maintain internal homeostasis. We focus on circuits involving solute-sensing kinases and the solute carrier (SLC) transporters they regulate. We are especially interested in SLCs because they are understudied transport proteins required for diverse physiological functions, are causally linked to more than 100 human diseases, and are readily druggable.
- Metabolic adaptation by phagocytes during uptake and digestion of apoptotic corpses. Efferocytosis involves a series of distinct steps, each posing unique metabolic challenges. We study how phagocytes utilize rapid-response circuits to sense and respond to this changing metabolic burden.
- Determine the importance of rapid-response circuits to homeostatic efferocytosis and tumor development/progression. My lab seeks to link our mechanistic work on rapid-response circuits to in vivo studies of tissue-resident and tumor-associated phagocyte function in relevant pre-clinical mouse and zebrafish cancer and autoimmunity models. The hope is that such studies will inform the design of novel immunotherapeutics.